Mulholland Drive is the kind of movie that you will either love or hate. There is no middle ground. It’s a movie that you can not just not care about, because it represents something different in each scene. Instead of trying to decipher it, let it guide you through a maze of passion, dreams and lies.
Mulholland Drive (2001) is one of the most famous films of the creator of Twin Peaks, David Lynch. As with almost everything he does, you do not sit back afterwards and do not care. It hits both your admiration and you are in shock. Over time, it has become one of the most popular movies, although people did not like it at first.
It can be a bit of a challenge to set up a synopsis of the film thanks to its structure, but we can start by saying that it begins with a young woman surviving a car accident. Coincidentally, the accident saved her life because she was about to be murdered in the car she was sitting in.
In her bag there is a large sum of money and a small blue key, but she has no idea who she is. She has lost her memory after the accident. Frightened and confused, she decides to break into an apartment.
Then there’s Betty, a hopeful actress whose aunt lets her live in her house in Los Angeles. After arriving at her now new home, she finds the injured woman, whom she decides to call Rita.
A new adventure
From then on, the characters in the film embark on a new adventure: finding out who Rita really is. The film will make you experience some of the most hidden passions that the characters possess, and you will witness a rather incoherent story.
From its introductory thriller theme, the film moves into absolute darkness and eventually to a nightmarish mood full of cheating and strange symbolism.
Lynch created Mulholland Drive as a series, but the first episode shocked the producer so much that they decided to turn it into a movie. And maybe that’s why it’s so hard to understand.
Perhaps it is not worth looking at from a linear standpoint or trying to give an explanation for it. Maybe you should instead let your emotions flow freely while you watch it.
Who knows why we humans always need an explanation for everything? In this article, at least we will not do it with Mulholland Drive , but we will rather list some of the film’s many points.
Why is there a need to explain Mulholland Drive?
Mulholland Drive is a pure maze, a film that appeals to dream-like factors that you can nicely compare to the structure of a dream. Over the years, people have been looking for an explanation. Although there appear to be solid arguments, Lynch himself has said he will not explain the film.
In an age of abundance of information, watching a movie like Mulholland Drive is refreshing . It gives the spectators an opportunity to find out for themselves what it is you see.
Art should not always be seen as something that can be explained in words. Rather like something that can take you to a new level of self-awareness and kick to hidden emotions.
Just think for a moment about paintings, music or poems. They do not always give a clear and unambiguous message, nor do you let yourself go so much over it. In fact, you just want to enjoy them and let your emotions flow naturally. Movies can also make you feel that way and are not just entertainment.
But the fact that Mulholland Drive asks a series of endless questions and gets you engaged in the movie is also a form of entertainment.
Moreover, Lynch often tries in his films to aim for more dreamlike situations. When you dream, the images come to you in an incoherent order, which is why the stories become like that too. But when you dream, it makes sense. But when you wake up and try to make it make sense, it’s very difficult to put together into something understandable.
Mulholland Drive: An illusion
When you dream, the people you see are people that you have seen at least once before in your life, even if you can not remember them or see them in roles other than those in which you know them from everyday life.
Similarly, places in your dreams may be completely different from the real world. You can even do things that you never thought of.
If in this way you are trying to compare Mulholland Drive with dreams, then you have a theory that fits perfectly. The film also contains a lot of symbolism, and it even takes you to an absolutely revealing place: Club Silencio.
Club Silencio is one of the film’s most hypnotic aspects, and at the same time it marks a before and after. If you thought you saw a story (or several stories) that follows some sort of linear structure, then after Club Silencio you will feel like you’re watching a brand new movie.
This strange place is a kind of magical theater, as in Hermann Hesse’s novel, The Steppe Wolf. A place where you meet, where nothing will be the same, and maybe a place to reveal the reality of the main characters.
Blue tones dominate this place and seem to create a certain dualism that the main character represents. Blue refers to the mind and to looking into oneself. We see it in Rita’s key and later in the box Betty finds.
Rita’s key opens the box. It leads to a new reality and new sequences of reality that now seem to be connected. Everything you have seen so far now suddenly makes sense.
Now you are witnessing clear people being formed. And thanks to Club Silencio, you discover that you have been taken by the nose. All you have seen is an illusion, a lie like art, dreams and the film itself.
The club’s magician seems to not only speak to the main characters, but also to all the spectators. He awakens you from Lynch´’s inflicted dream state.
From the original point of view as a detective, you are now moving to a different and darker part with a shocking revelation at the end. From the young Betty’s optimism and the American dream, you see Diane’s flat and unstable behavior and finally a dualism that seems to take over the main character.
Despite that quality and success, there are still quite a few critics who can not cope with the film completely. Some point out that the film may be somewhat overrated.
The actors ‘performances are the highlight of the film, which has undoubtedly promoted Naomi Watts’ career.
You can not deny that Mulholland Drive is an authentic puzzle whose solution is highly subjective; it’s an exercise for the viewer trying to capture the plot of the film. In short, it is an invitation to your own mind, a maze full of passion and deception.